Friday, November 28, 2014
Finland Legalizes Gay Marriage
Gay couples in Finland have been able to enter into registered partnerships since 2002, but until now the country was the only in the Nordic region not to allow same-sex marriage. Finland is now the 12th European state to do so. In the vote, 105 members of parliament supported the legal amendment while 92 opposed it. The measure will end the distinction in Finland between same-sex unions and heterosexual marriages and give such couples equal rights to adopt children and share a surname. “Finland should strive to become a society where discrimination does not exist, human rights are respected and two adults can marry regardless of their sexual orientation,” the centre-right prime minister, Alexander Stubb, said in an open letter before the vote.Debate on the bill began back in February after the issue was forced back onto the table by a national petition process. More from the Finnish press:
The result was a sweet triumph for the thousands of supporters of marriage equality who gathered around the Parliament this afternoon. Many of them waved rainbow-coloured flags and banners. Shouts of "I do!" - the battle cry of the movement - echoed through the streets. Opponents of the measure also turned out for the session, but found themselves vastly outnumbered. Parliamentary Speaker Eero Heinäluoma tightened security ahead of the vote, calling for calm on what has been a polarising subject both inside and outside the chamber. However there were no reports of disruptive behaviour - with one Yle correspondent describing the scene as having a Carnival-like atmosphere. The reform will force wide-ranging changes in other legislation, which will take well over a year to finalise. The law will therefore not take effect until 2016 at the earliest. Finland has allowed registered partnerships since 2002.
SLOVAKIA: Anti-Gay Group Forces Vote On Marriage And Same-Sex Adoption
Gay Star News:
Slovakian President Andrej Kiska has announced that the country will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage in early 2015. The conservative group, Alliance for Family, has supported the move. The group has gathered 400,000 signatures supporting the idea of a referendum that will seek to ask Slovakians if they agree that marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman. The referendum will also ask citizens if they agree that same-sex partners can’t adopt children, and that children won’t have to attend sex education classes at school if their parents wish to keep them away. Kiska asked Slovakia’s constitutional court (ÚS) to rule last month on whether such a referendum would violate the constitution. ÚS ruled that it did not, but turned down a question on registered partnerships being included. Alliance for Family had previously wanted to include a question that could potentially implement a ban on any future recognition of same-sex partnerships.The petition for the referendum was backed the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom. When the legislative ban was enacted in June, hate group leader Brian Brown applauded Slovakia for not being "duped by this demonic incursion of sexual anarchy." A majority of Slovakians identify as Catholic.
RELATED: Eight members of the 28-nation European Union have legalized same-sex marriage: Finland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (England & Wales). Nine EU members offer civil unions or partnerships: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Slovenia. Eleven EU nations currently offer no recognition of same-sex couples: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
Tired Old Queen At The Movies #127
James Wilby, Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves turn in subtle and brilliant performances in Merchant Ivory's adaptation of E. M. Forster's romantic, gay love story; "Maurice" (1987). Published after Forester's death and hidden for decades, it concerns the romance of a two young men at Cambridge at the turn of the century, what their love affair costs them and how they manage to find peace and happiness in a society which forbids, admonishes and punishes them for their inclinations. Gloriously photographed, meticulously directed and exceptionally cast, it is one of the greatest and most honest love stories ever filmed.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Guest Post: Carl Siciliano
Those are the words M heard after his mother died of cancer. He was 16. His mom had loved and accepted him. But not his aunt and uncle. They took in his little brother, but left M to fend for himself in the streets.
M lived in a town in Florida that had no youth shelter. He and about 20 other homeless kids slept on the floor of an unlocked building in the town park. He used his knapsack with his school books and his toothbrush and deodorant inside as his pillow. Those were the good nights. The bad nights were when the police chased them out. On those nights he tried to sleep in an abandoned lot, hidden in the weeds. Those nights his allergies tormented him; his eyes and throat swelled, and he struggled to breath.
No matter what kind of night he had, M went to school every day. He did it to honor the memory of his mom, who said she would kick his butt in the afterlife if he didn't get an education. Despite the soul-shattering hardships he endured, he graduated at 18.
"As soon as I get the chance, I'm going to kill you, you fucking faggot."
Those are the words one of M's friends heard when he walked through the courtyard into the youth shelter where most of the beds for New York City's homeless youths are located. Despite local and federal regulations that mandate that youth shelters be in homelike environments with no more than 20 beds, NYC has crowded hundreds of kids into that shelter. Many LGBT kids report being bashed and harassed by the numerous gang members who stay there. M came to New York City after he graduated from high school, and tried to stay at there. But after being attacked too many times he ended up sleeping in the subways.
I met M the day he moved into one of the Ali Forney Center's homelike shelters after sleeping in the subways for six months. That was a really good day for M. He has had some wonderful days since; like the day he was accepted into college, and the day he got hired for his job counseling other teens. Those were good days for the Ali Forney Center as well, as have the been the joyful days in recent months when over 40 of our youths in our new job training program have been hired.
But we have had some really bad days. Since the federal sequestration and it's vast cuts we have lost about $1 Million in government funding. I have been struggling to pay our rents and our food bills, and keep our programs going. I don't sleep in a vacant lot, but I have had more than my share of sleepless nights worrying about the future of the Ali Forney Center.
But in the end I trust we will go forward. Our work of housing and protecting homeless LGBT youths must survive and grow. Too many of the LGBT kids we care for have endured cruelty, violence and contempt in their homes and in other shelters. Over 1,300 kids a year from across our country rely on the Ali Forney Center to provide a home where they are protected and accepted for who they are. I trust that our work will go on, because I trust in the goodness of our community. I was very frightened after Hurricane Sandy destroyed our drop-in center, and yet so many in our community showed me that they would stand by our us in our devastation. The sequestration is a different kind of storm, a storm made by cruel politics, not weather. But no less devastating, especially for the poorest, most vulnerable youths of our community.
I thank Joe, and all of the members of the JoeMyGod community for standing by us with kindness and generosity for many years. Once again, I ask that you stand by us and our youths in a difficult time. Happy Thanksgiving!
NOTE FROM JOE: I'd like to echo Carl's thanks to the JMG community. Carl gives a lovely shout-out to you folks every year at the Ali Forney Center's annual fundraiser, as so many of you have been so very generous over all these years. It's a wonderfully proud moment for me. If you are considering make a donation this year, you can do that here. You can also make donations on PayPal by using this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, there's an AFC's campaign at IndieGoGo, where "perks" are awarded at various donation levels. The top donation level gets you lunch with famed Brat Pack actress Ally Sheedy, one of Ali Forney's most ardent supporters. Again, thanks so VERY much to all you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate with your biological family, or as Armistead Maupin famously calls it, your logical one.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Kelly Clarkson - Wrapped In Red
Garth Brooks Cancels Gig Over Ferguson
Mississippi Asks Fifth Circuit To Extend Marriage Stay: Don't Turn Us Into Utah
Absent the immediate entry of an emergency stay, at the opening of business on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Mississippi circuit clerks will be forced to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, inderogation of Mississippi’s strong public policy favoring traditional marriages, as reflected in state statutory and constitutional provisions. The State Defendants, Governor Phil Bryant and Attorney General Jim Hood, filed a contingent motion for stay pending appeal in the district court in the event that court entered a preliminary injunction. Last night, the district court granted the Plaintiff-Appellees’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, but entered only a 14 day temporary stay, necessitating this request for emergency relief.Read the full filing at Equality Case Files.
The preliminary injunction drastically alters the status quo and disrupts the social fabric and traditions of the State. If same-sex marriages are permitted to proceed, even for a very short time, if the validity of Mississippi’s traditional marriage laws is upheld on appeal, the State would be presented with the extremely unfortunate and thorny issue of having to legally unwind any marital or other family relationships which were created or altered pursuant to “in the interim” same-sex marriage licenses. The recent debacle in the State of Utah that resulted from the courts’ “on-again, off-again” treatment of same-sex marriage is illustrative, and this Court should take action to prevent Mississippi from having to endure the same experience.
Canada Joins Twitter
FLORIDA: Lawmakers Introduce Sweeping LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill
Earlier today, Representative Holly Raschein (R- Key Largo) and Democratic Whip Senator Joseph Abruzzo (D- Boynton Beach) filed legislation in the Florida House and Senate respectively that would prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in employment, housing and public accommodations. Known as the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (FCWA), the legislation would amend Chapter 760 of the Florida State Statutes that currently prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The bill would add protections for more than 536,000 LGBT adults living in Florida. Despite overwhelming public support and the passage of local equal rights ordinances throughout the state, there is no statewide law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.The map above shows the states that presently provide employment and housing protections. The darker-shaded states include gender identity as well as sexual orientation. For a slightly different map that depicts public accommodation protections, click here.
Pat Robertson: Gay Rights Are Destroying Everything The Pilgrims Worked For
Have Yourself A Merry Little Mythmas
Local Haters Have The Arkansas Sadz
The American Family Association Has The Mississippi And Arkansas Super Sadz
Bryan Fischer, expanding on last night's delicious Twitter meltdown. The AFA is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Erasure - Reason
This is the second single from The Violet Flame, which is now available. Their current tour concludes in Manhattan on December 30th and 31st at Terminal 5. Erasure first entered the US charts 29 years ago with Who Needs Love Like That, which peaked at #8. The first single from the new album, Elevation, peaked last month at #3.
MISSISSIPPI: State Files Notice Of Appeal
Equality Case Files.
Most-Googled Thanksgiving Recipes
Emergency Heart Surgery For RBG
New York Daily News:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had a heart stent implanted to address artery blockage. The 81-year-old justice underwent the procedure Wednesday morning at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C., the court revealed. "The coronary blockage was discovered after Justice Ginsburg experienced discomfort during routine exercise last night and was taken to the hospital," the court said in a statement. "She is resting comfortably and is expected to be discharged in the next 48 hours." Ginsburg has downplayed rumors that she would soon retire, amid reports of her declining health. “All I can say is that I’m still here and likely to remain for a while,” she told Katie Couric this summer.
Todd Starnes, Literary Bad Boy
Todd Starnes, very upset that a small Alaska town library rejected his book.
Viral Video Of The Day
In the video embedded below, fundamentalist Christian home-school mom and conservative cultural critic Megan Fox — no relation to “Transformers” actress Megyn Fox — visits the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and purports to “audit” the museum for its “liberal bias.” In the description of the 30 minute video she uploaded to YouTube to document the visit, Fox wrote, “In November 2014, Megan Fox toured the Field Museum’s ‘Evolving Earth’ exhibit to audit it for bias. She found many examples of inconsistencies and the Field Museum’s insistence that people support opinion as fact without proof. The Field Museum pushes certain theories as if they are absolute proven law when that is not how the scientific method works.” Dangerous Minds wrote, “(S)he’s an idiot, she homeschools her kids and she’s a fucking dingbat with her own YouTube channel so she can inflict her low IQ buffoonery on everyone else.”I've actually watched the entire hilarious thing. At the 18-minute mark, Fox unmasks the liberal plot to hide the historical fact that dragons existed.
UPDATE: Readers remind us that Fox is the blogging sidekick of demented homocon horcrux Kevin DuJan, the douchebag responsible for Teabagistan's favorite rumor: Obama goes to bathhouses. DuJan has largely dropped out of sight after regaining the national spotlight with his campaign to skew the online voting for Dancing With The Stars in favor of Bristol Palin.
TEXAS: State Claims To Be Surprised By Request To Lift Marriage Stay
Texas officials want a federal judge to uphold the state's same-sex marriage ban, calling a request by gay couples to be allowed to immediately marry "untimely" and "out of order." "The plaintiffs offer no explanation for why they waited so long to file their motion,"Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote in a court document filed Tuesday. "They should not be rewarded for lying behind the log and springing this challenge on the Court and the State at the eleventh hour, demanding immediate relief." U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio in February ruled Texas' gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but issued a stay on allowing gay couples to immediately wed during the appeals process. Abbott has appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. On Monday, the two same-sex couples challenging the ban filed a motion asking Garcia to lift the stay. Abbott, the governor-elect, however, said the plaintiffs should be forced to wait until the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears the Texas and Louisiana cases on Jan. 9: "Modifying the preliminary-injunction order to remove the stay would interfere with the Fifth Circuit's appellate jurisdiction."Lying behind the log? Read the full filing. (Tipped by JMG reader Rob)
BRITAIN: Christian Group Battles For The Right To Discriminate Against Gays
Minnesota Marriage Minute series, in which a dour-faced woman contended that civilization would come crumbling down once them there gays got their way. The latest push by C4M stars Hazelmary Bull, the bed-and-breakfast owner who lost multiple court cases in her battle for the right to turn away same-sex couples.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Bryan Fischer Has The Mississipi Sadz
BREAKING: Federal Judge Strikes Down Mississippi Same-Sex Marriage Ban,
Ruling Is Stayed For Two Weeks
BREAKING: Federal Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Marriage Ban, Ruling Stayed
A federal judge has struck down Arkansas' gay marriage ban, which could pave the way for county clerks to eventually resume issuing licenses. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled Tuesday in favor of a pair of same-sex couples who had challenged the 2004 constitutional amendment and an earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But Baker put her ruling on hold, and the state is expected to appeal it to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling comes as the state Supreme Court is weighing a separate case, which stems from May, when a Pulaski County judge struck down the ban. More than 500 same-sex couples married before the ruling was stayed. The justices have not indicated when they will rule.Read the ruling.
Bill Donohue On Terry Bean
Bill Donohue, writing for the Catholic League.
FACT CHECK: When Falcon Studios porn mogul Chuck Holmes died fourteen years ago, Bean agreed to be the executor of his estate, which was liquidated soon after. Per Holmes' wishes, the proceeds from the sale of his catalog of 70s porn titles were used to establish a foundation which provides grants to HIV/AIDS and LGBT causes. According to the most recent filing of the Charles M. Holmes Foundation, among the donations made in 2012 were grants to the ACLU, Equity Fights AIDS, Oregon's Equity Foundation, the Pacific Northwest Hospice Foundation, and an LGBT scholarship program at the University of Oregon.
SYRIA: ISIS Claims To Have Executed Two Gay Men By Stoning Them To Death
The Islamic State group stoned two men to death in Syria Tuesday after claiming they were gay, a monitor said, in the jihadist organisation's first executions for alleged homosexuality. "The IS today stoned to death a man that it said was gay," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the victim was around 20 years old. He was killed in Mayadeen in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, near the border with Iraq. The Britain-based Observatory said IS claimed it found videos on his mobile phone showing him "practising indecent acts with males". In a separate incident on Tuesday, an 18-year-old was also stoned to death in Deir Ezzor city after the group said he was gay, the Observatory said. Activists on social media said that the dead men were opponents of IS and that the group had used the allegation as a pretext to kill them.(Tipped by JMG reader Chris)
A Christmas Gift Idea From Linda Harvey
MISSOURI: Federal Court Denies Motion To Lift Stay On Same-Sex Marriage
declared on the day of the ruling that he will appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court. Marriage licenses continue to be issued in St. Louis only and they are valid statewide. (Via Equality Case Files)
NOM Exploits Duggars For Money Beg
Brian Brown, in a NOM post that links to their own email-harvesting petition rather than the existing petition which now has nearly 200,000 signatures.
Gaga & Bennett - It Don't Mean A Thing
Out today is the latest single from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's album of American songbook standards, which was a surprise hit and made 88 year-old Bennett the oldest living artist to achieve a #1 pop album.
RELATED: In other "gay icon remakes oldies" news, Bette Midler tied Babs for a chart record last week.
Bette Midler celebrates a fifth consecutive decade of top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, as It’s the Girls debuts at No. 3. She's only the second woman, following Barbra Streisand, to notch Top 10 albums in each of the last five decades (1970s through 2010s). The new album's arrival gives Midler her highest debut ever, her second-highest charting album, and sixth top 10 overall. The three-time Grammy Award winner's first Top 10 came with her debut, The Divine Miss M, which arrived almost 42-years ago on the chart dated Dec. 9, 1972. It peaked at No. 9 the following March. She later visited the top 10 with a self-titled album (No. 6 in 1974), the Beaches soundtrack (No. 2 in 1989), Some People's Lives (No. 6 in 1991) and Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook (No. 10 in 2005).
Air Travel Survey
This Is A "Fractured Eye Socket"
new headline: "Officer Darren Wilson Suffered Severe Facial Contusions After Severe Beating During Mike Brown Attack."
RELATED: Check out the result when you Google "stupidest man on the internet."
Mock-Up Vs Final New York Daily News
Last night, New York Daily News Brooklyn court reporter Oren Yaniv tweeted out what appeared to the Tweetdeck passerby to be the next day’s cover of the paper, which announced “Killer Cop Goes Free." Many were displeased by such an incendiary headline, including trusty Brit Hume. Yaniv later revealed the cover was just a mock-up. It did not actually get used. This morning’s printed cover hedged its bets, telegraphing a sense of anxiety over protests rather than outrage at the decision.
YouTube Comment Reconstruction #10
Evangelical Launches Campaign To Elect 1000 Christian Pastors To Public Office
A prominent evangelical Christian leader has launched an effort to recruit 1,000 pastors willing to run for political office, hoping to inject religious issues and candidates into the 2016 election. David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, said he hopes he can persuade pastors to run for offices as varied as school board and city council to the state legislature and Congress. He’s scheduled an organizing meeting in January in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country,” Mr. Lane said in an interview with The Washington Times.The campaign formally kicks off in January at an event called Pastors & Pews, which will be attended by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Predicted Martydom Commences
NEW YORK CITY: Protesters Chain Food Bin To Walmart Family Condo
Walmart employs 1.4 million Americans, and pays roughly 800,000 of them less than $25,000/year. Because this is barely enough money to live, Walmart workers turn to public assistance, which costs taxpayers $6.2 billion annually. These part-time workers—many of whom are black or Latino and female—cannot feed themselves or their families, so employees hold food drives for their colleagues. To call attention to this cruel reality, a labor group chained a giant food bin to the awning of Alice Walton's $25 million Park Avenue condo. The company earned $16 billion in profit last year, much of it going to the Waltons, America's richest family (Alice is worth $38 billion herself). It is a terrific time to be a giant corporation. Walmart's workers are planning to strike on Black Friday in 1,600 different locations, demanding full-time, steady employment, and a living wage of $15.Walmart responded to the stunt by telling the press that they pay a "competitive wage."
NEW YORK CITY: Protesters Swarm Times Square, Shut Down Bridges
PETA Vs Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
demonstration outside the flagship store.
Demonstrators wearing nothing but black and white body paint to resemble orcas will squeeze into a bathtub outside the midtown Manhattan store on Thursday to mimic orcas held in captivity and to repeat last year's demand - which was denied - that the float be excluded, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said. "It is unacceptable to confine orcas to barren tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub," said Delcianna Winders, PETA's deputy general counsel. The naked protest in temperatures predicted to hover just above freezing rides a wave of controversy surrounding SeaWorld after the 2013 documentary film "Blackfish" alleged the park mishandled the huge sea mammals. The marine theme park uses orcas in its aquatic shows.This year's is the 88th edition of the parade, which will be attended by a projected 3.5 million spectators.
HRC Announces Leave Of Absence For Accused Board Member Terry Bean
brief statement noting that co-founder and board of directors member Terry Bean has taken a leave of absence. Last week Bean was arrested and charged with the sexual abuse of a 15 year-old boy that he and his then-partner met on Grindr in 2013.
From HRC vice president Fred Sainz: "Terry Bean has taken a voluntary leave of absence from the HRC board until his issues are resolved. Bean is just one of 80 board members, none of whom have daily oversight or responsibility for any of our programs."
Also yesterday Bean reacted publicly to his arrest for the first time and posted a message on his Facebook page: "To all my friends, please be assured that I am innocent of all these charges. My lawyers have insisted that the facts come out in the courtroom and not in the press, but I am eager to share the truth, and I am grateful for all of your support you have shown me during this time. Thanks, Terry."
Bean's next court appearance will be on December 5th. In addition to co-founding the HRC, he co-founded the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and was the top Oregon fundraiser for Obama's 2008 campaign. His arrest has sparked taunting headlines on anti-gay and right wing sites, many of which are now concluding any LGBT-related story with a mention of the scandal.